Tag Archives: tv

Since You Didn't Ask:

Thought I would share some commentary on a few salient topics of the day…

  1. I didn’t say that I liked the iPad, or that I thought it was cool, or that I wanted one.  I said that I think it will sell.  Granted, Apple is trying to carve out what I think is a pretty narrow niche in this handheld Internet device market, but for all the geeks I’ve talked to that can’t imagine how they would possibly use it or why they would want one, there are 2 or more parents that I think could.
  2. I think cutting off funding for NASA’s Constellation program is stupid.  Trying to encourage more funding in space exploration from private companies is one thing, but effectively giving up on a US presence in the future of humanity in outer space is another.  While we’re at it, let’s graduate a few thousand more physicists, chemists, engineers, and other scientists from overseas at OUR universities, then send them back home.  We obviously won’t need them to work at Starbucks or drive a bus or answer phones in a call center.  Those are them nice American jobs.
  3. On the other hand, at least there are some thoughts and ideas coming out of the White House this week after that State of the Union enema.
  4. I have been frustrated with the samba client and network manager on Ubuntu for long enough.  I finally found a fix that works for me (for now).
  5. After taking a stroll around our local Best Buy store, I’m realizing that a TV is one purchase decision that’s awfully hard to make exclusively on the Internet, no matter how hard I try.  You really have to see the screen, compare the sizes with your eye, and test drive them a little bit.  It also makes you antsy for one when you come back home to your 27″ CRT.

Other than that, had a straight-up weekend.  We went to Milwaukee on Friday evening for Tina’s birthday and had a nice time at Water Street Brewery & The Harp.  Saturday we stayed in, and Sunday was for housework.  Got the Super Bowl coming up next weekend, but I’m not sure it’s going to play too huge in these parts.  I am interested, but not riveted.  Speaking of the Super Bowl and TVs– have you noted the marketing blitz around this football game that all your electronics vendors are pushing?  Is it worse than ever, or have I not noticed it in the past?

Days of Summer

It was a helluva nice day here in Beer Town.  I regretted being at work, considerably.

Lorch came down at the end of the day, though, because he needs to be at Mitchell to work at about 4:00 tomorrow morning– seriously.  So we went out for some beers and a pizza, and we watched the baseball game.  What a game for Yovanni, eh?  Pretty cool for him to throw his first-ever complete game down in Houston, with most of his family in attendance.  And great for the Crew to pick up another win…

After that, we watched an episode of Flight of the Conchords.  It’s a pretty damn funny show.  But it’s so dry, I’m not sure Michelle will even be into it.  I mean, the humor is brittle.  It could snap off right there in your hand.

OK, time for sleep.

A Shining, Glistening, Near-Blindingly Bright Example:

In the course of my lifetime, sports journalism has gotten completely out of control.  There are hours upon hours upon HOURS more of it than is even remotely necessary, and I blame this development entirely on ESPN.  Competition between networks may spur on the never-ending spiral into mindless sporting minutiae, but there would be no need had there never been an ESPN.

I guess it’s nice that all these people who work in 24-hour sports journalism have jobs, because what else would they do1, but is any of this information and the myriad methods of digesting statistics worthwhile knowledge?  Barely.  Just… barely.  It’s slightly worthwhile because the reporter needs something to talk about on TV, but what kind of chicken-and-egg argument is that?

I got an email today from the K-Bear, mentioning that the Detroit Lions settled on a new design for their uniforms.  I popped over to the Great Network’s website for a nugget of info on the topic (maybe just an example of the design), and I was met with this lead story in their NFL section: Mock Draft for the Ages!  Yes friends, the work they’re doing over there today is asking the burning question: what if every player EVER were eligible to be taken in THIS YEAR’S NFL draft?  You can follow the link for all the details but the summary is thus:

Who gives a holy freakin shit?

I don’t discount the value of sports on a basic level; obviously there is something about physical competitions that have kept human beings interested for thousands of years.  Sports help us pass the time, they promote civic pride, and they give us a glimpse of what the most physically skilled among us can do with the human body; which in and of itself is occasionally an amazing spectacle.

Like so many things, though, following sports is prone to spilling over to obsession.  24-hour sports networks help promote that2, but of course it is ultimately the viewer that drives that programming.  Personally, I know how easy it can be to slip into a pattern of obsessive cable-watching.  I have fought countless battles over the years with such networks as TNN, Comedy Central, History Channel, National Geographic, SpikeTV, VH1, and yes, ESPN.  Some of the most gratifying days I can remember are the ones where I suddenly realized, “Hey, I haven’t turned on the TV to watch [insert program or network here] in weeks.  And I don’t care at all!  I guess none of it really matters…”

And it doesn’t.  So, loosen your grip on the remote, oh ye 2nd-floor Nelsonites3!  The world, she is a’turning!

  1. My God, what would Craig Kilborn’s life have been without SportsCenter? []
  2. Truly, all niche cable networks promote their respective vice or obsession, do they not? []
  3. When I lived in Nelson Hall, there was an eerie yet distinct difference between the men who populated most of 2nd floor (they watched a LOT of sports and were generally known to be some breed of jock, either actual or wishful) and the ones like me on the 4th (they played a lot of cards, really knew how to drink, and overall had a more unique mix of personalities. []

Quick-Moving Saturday

This day just flew by me before I really realized what had happened.  Ended up being out a little late on Friday after all the baseball excitement, so I got a late start.  Lots to be done around the house, and I also watched a movie that Brian lent to me.  Eagle Eye was OK, but it could have been quite a bit better.  Another interesting take on a Skynet-type problem that wouldn’t actually ever happen.  But like I said, it wasn’t awful.

Did some laundry while I was watching this evening’s Brewers game.  MediaPortal is totally worth the trouble on my TV box if for no other reason than the DVR features– being able to pause the live game while I was running up and down the stairs changing loads was nice.  If there were:

  • a browser extension, in order to use hulu and netflix within MP, and
  • a decent music library included

… it would pretty much rock.  I might try Boxee for Windows to see how that works out.  The thing I would like best is to do all the video watching that I need to on computer, WITH the remote.  Having to plug in a keyboard or mouse is a pain.  Ah well, minor thing.

I would like to sneak in my blog-o-riffic birthday salutations to my mom, right under the wire here ON her birthday, 4/11.  Love you, Mom– hope it was a good day…

If I miss all of ya on Sunday, have a happy Easter.

My Bracket Is Frakked

So when the sun rose on a new work week, I was greeted with only one of my Final Four picks still intact.  Fortunately, it IS the one that I picked to win the national championship, so I guess I have a prayer.  I thin, wispy, glimmer of a prayer.

Yesterday, Michelle hung out at my place to work on some work-related stuff, and we also watched a little “Best of the Price Is Right” on DVD.  Two words– huh.  Larious.  The contestants from the 50s and 60s, as well as the prizes and prices were just unbelievable.  I’m sure the same thing will be said about… oh, I dunno, American Idol in 30 or 40 years.  People will wonder how the hell we ever watched it.

Busy day lined up at work, so I best get to it.  Need to start planning for a big adjustment in our availability schedule as well as regular day-to-day stuff…

How was your weekend?

Fun With Fonts

Like 20 thousand other Lifehacker readers, I picked up on this post a couple days ago that mentioned a website where you could generate your own hand-written fonts FOR FREE.  It took about 2 and a half days for the traffic to settle down, but early this morning, I was able to get in there and scan in a few different “Bocko” fonts.  The timing on the post was funny, because I had asked Michelle just a day or two before if she knew how to design one’s own font; I have a couple projects on which I’d like to use my own digital handwriting…

Anyway, I was really impressed with how they turned out.  I even changed a few default fonts on my system to use my new handwritten ones instead; we’ll see how long that lasts before it gets too annoying for words (I have a feeling that the first time someone else comes over to the house and sits down at the computer, we’ll need to switch back to something else.  But I can read these JUST fine…).

On the geeky-website-news front, I was excited to see that there should be a bug-fixing version of WordPress due out soon.  I took a look at the list of tickets that have been closed on version 2.7.1, and it seems like a couple of my plugin problems might get fixed.  I’m anxious because there are a couple new features in the next version I’d like to be able to implement here on the site.  I don’t think I’m going to bother testing the beta, but as soon as there is an official x.x.1 release, I’ll be on it.

On the geeky-television-news front, Jen figures that Sylar’s dad is invisible.  In more ways than one, Jen, in more ways than one…

On the sisters’-bithdays front, Christy is 26 today!!  I talked to her yesterday and mentioned that it’s time to start that next quarter-century– no lookin back now; next stop: 30!  Happy b-day, Kid.

Time to head out to work– have a fabulous Wednesday.

What Are the Odds of That?

I was pretty excited today because I got the DVD recorder that Mom and Dad bought me for my birthday in the mail.  After work and dinner, I spent some time hooking it up and comparing the video and audio quality to my trusty old Pioneer.  I came to the conclusion that I would have to leave both of them hooked up; the Pioneer has optical out for the audio, and there is a notable difference between that and the coaxial audio out on the new Magnavox.

Once I had settled that issue and moved my server to a different shelf (freeing up some space in the sad, sad, little “entertainment center” that my sad, sad, little living room has), I ran the boxes for both players down to the basement and retrieved my VCR, ready to begin the process of dubbing over the VHS tapes that I have so longed to get rid of.

Plugged in the VCR, and I almost immediately noticed the subtle aroma of an electrical fire.  I sniffed each component close up.  Naturally, it was the VCR.  Even though it smelled like that, I thought, “what the hell, I’ll try putting a tape in here.”  That didn’t work, either.  Seems like the deck itself is jammed and (without a LOT of experience or know-how to go on) the burning smell is probably the motor that operates it literally burning itself out.  Eh, what the heck?  The VCR was purchased in haste in the year 2001, when I needed it for something random that involved a computer.  Frankly, I don’t recall what.

Wait!  Ohh!  It was to record video ONTO the computer via the TV card!  That sorta worked a little bit at the time.  Point is, the VCR didn’t even cost 40 bucks as I recall, so it’s to be expected that it doinked itself after so (relatively) few hours of playback.

I guess I’ll have to borrow someone else’s VCR to finish up this project, but I can go ahead and begin with the tapes I made on vacations and in Montana a few years back…

My Final Five Questions

Had a good afternoon/evening up in Sheboygan with Petters yesterday.  We re-watched the 10 episodes of BSG, season 4.0.  There were a couple moments where we both said, “oh yeah, I forgot that that happened,” and I think we both enjoyed the opportunity to freshen the whole series in our minds again.  Counting down the days to the “season” premiere on 1/16, then, here are a few questions that I would like to have answered before the series wraps in 10 more ep’s.

Caution to those of you who haven’t see the show yet but might be interested in doing so at some point– there may be some spoliers herein.  Caution to those who don’t give a crap: this is an exceedingly geeky post.

  1. Obviously, who is the Last Cylon? We both noted (and I had forgotten) that D’Anna told Roslin and Adama that the fifth Cylon “[was] not in the fleet.”  So, of course, you have to decide if you want to believe her first, then having done that, who would a shocking, yet familiar Final Face be?  Keep in mind, with the Cylons ability to resurrect only recently trashed, the field is wide open, even to the “deceased.”  A few possibilities (all “not in the fleet”): how about Billy, Zak Adama (don’t ask me how that would work), Joseph Adama, Admiral Cain, or Kendra Shaw?  I think the smart money is on Zak.
  2. Almost as obvious, what happened to Earth, and when did our heroes arrive there? Is it the past, the future, an alternate present?  It’s going to be very interesting to me to see how that shakes out.  I’m also really curious to know when and under what circumstances the Final Five had been there before.
  3. Has Kara Thrace fulfilled her destiny as the cause of mankind’s destruction (maybe her earlier visit to Earth somehow triggered the destruction that they later found there), and if not, will she, and if so, how will that happen?
  4. What is “the truth of the opera house”? I still have no frakkin clue what the real meaning of this vision is.  Sub-question: what will Baltar’s final role be?  Will it be one of redemption, or will he cement his place as the bane of his own species?
  5. The issue didn’t feel that vital as the first half of season 4 wrapped, but as I ponder it, what is the implication of Caprica Six’s pregnancy? I mean, what we’re looking at there is a 100% CYLON CHILD, conceived by natural human means.  Could this child be an even greater harbinger of things to come for the Cylons than Hera Agathon, the human-cylon hybrid?

Looking forward to the premiere next Friday– I’ll be out of town on that day and won’t able to watch it, but you can bet I’ll be catching it on the web as soon as I’m able…

If We Don't Shop, the Terrorists Win

Nothing like counting those chickens before the eggs are even laid (to say nothing about hatching).  When I got home yesterday, I was thinking I would whip some photos from the holiday season up on the site, to augment the one I borrowed from Christy.  But I really didn’t have any shots worth posting (out of the 12 that I actually took).

I mentioned to Michelle that part of the problem is I’m really bored with my camera.  I don’t even particularly feel like taking it places or turning it on when I do remember to bring it along.  Bocko needs a new camera to reinvigorate that photographic energy.

To that end, one of things I’ve decided to spend a portion of the forthcoming tax refund on is the digital SLR I’ve been on the verge of purchasing for about 3 years now.  I’m sure Wordy will be pleased to no longer have my annual “which-camera-should-I-intend-to-but-not-actually-buy” emails.  This is the outfit I’m figuring on purchasing (whether through the linked vendor, or another).  I’m going to spend a little bit more and get a telephoto lens included, because having that versatility was one of the prime motivations I felt to get a DSLR in the first place.  Next year when I go to the ballpark, I want to take some nice shots of guys in the field…

Speaking of which, 20 Brewers tickets is one of the other things I’ve already spent that tax money on.

I guess now that I’m 30 I should try to get a better handle on this whole “saving money for more important stuff” thing.  I SWEAR I will do that right after I buy a new TV